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Rosa Mexicano: Good to the Last Bite

Sunset Strip's now 6-month-old Mexican chainlet cooks up classic dishes with modern flavor.

Rosa Mexicano is spicing things up on the Sunset Strip—as if West Hollywood wasn't zesty enough.

The second Los Angeles branch of the east coast chain, helmed by Howard Greenstone, opened in West Hollywood in August 2011, bringing a splash of bright pink and purple to the space formerly known as Borracho Cantina.

In typical Rosa Mexicano fashion, the venue is enchanting, if not a tad intimidating—save for the cozy, rose-colored booths. The dim-lit dining room shimmers against gold-colored walls. Floor-to-ceiling sliding windows open to a nice sized patio.

Yes, it's modern (there is a cobalt-tiled waterfall dotted with miniature cliff-divers in the entrance), and not inexpensive (like $14 table-side guacamole), but the food packs a punch.

Some of L.A.'s best Mexican eateries could learn a thing or two from Rosa Mexicano about flavor. Every morsel is packed with inventive combinations.

Chihuahua cheese in a cast-iron skillet sizzling alongside garlic shrimp, fresh cilantro and chile makes you want to say "Wow" at first bite. Grilled skirt steak marinated in cumin and black pepper joined with creamy Mexican street corn just takes it to a whole different level.

Then there are the drinks, which you must assume are good since the menu is double that of the food. And they are.

The frozen pomegranate margarita ($9.75) is the more-than-20-year-old chainlet's signature cocktail. It's good, but our waitor recommended bolder libations: La Sandia ($11), a shaken cocktail made with fresh watermelon, El Jimador silver tequila, rosemary and fresh lime, and the stirred La Pinuela ($11), which is a fusion of pineapple and cinnamon.

It is always best to end the meal on a sweet note. Just one scoop of Rosa Mexicano's original ice cream flavors should do the trick. Choose from prickly pear, chocolate mole, sea salt cajeta or the seriously strange, jalapeno lime—three for $7.

A full meal for two at Rosa Mexicano could easily amount to $60, but it is definitely worth saving up and experiencing a true culinary adventure.

Check out the full menu here.

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Rosa Mexicano

8570 W. Sunset Blvd., 310.657.4991

Hours of Operation:

Brunch
Saturday & Sunday: 11:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Lunch

Monday - Sunday: 11:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. 

Dinner
Sunday - Wednesday: 4 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Thursday - Saturday: 4 p.m. – 12 a.m.

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